Skip to main content

Buffs Draw with No. 15 USC

Oct 23, 2022

BOULDER – Civana Kuhlmann scored the goal and Bella Grust made nine saves in Colorado's weekend-closing 1-1 draw against No. 15 Southern California on Sunday.

The Buffaloes (8-5-4, 2-4-2 Pac-12) snapped a two-game losing streak and kept the team's NCAA Tournament hopes alive with the result.

Kuhlmann picked up the game's first score and her 11th of the season to help the Buffs to a 1-0 halftime lead. The Trojans got back to even late in the second half with a tap-in goal from Aaliyah Farmer to force the draw.

"Big picture, we needed to get a result today," head coach Danny Sanchez noted after the match. "Overall, I told the team I'm super proud of how hard they played and defended. That was more like CU soccer. I thought some players really stepped in and performed well."

Southern Cal (9-2-3, 5-1-2 Pac-12) still outshot the Buffs, 21-6, but Colorado limited the dangerous looks that UCLA took advantage of on Thursday. Farmer provided the bulk of the USC offense, totaling seven shots in the game.

Grust got her first start in net since Sept. 4, against Omaha. The nine saves by the sophomore marked a career-high and tied Dani Hansen (at Michigan State) for the most by a CU goaltender this season.

"I've said all year that we have a lot of confidence in Bella," Sanchez added. "She's performed well when she's gotten the opportunity. I thought she was very good today."   

How it happened
The Trojans were the first to threaten the scoreboard on Sunday. USC found the post in the 2nd minute and almost slotted a free kick in the 8th minute. Shyra James was the last Buff on the line to clear the ball out of danger on the USC set-piece attempt.

Emerson Layne got CU's first shot of the day, putting a heel flick on net off a Jade Babcock-Chi shot in the 11th minute. James then got into the action on the offensive side of the ball in the 13th minute, putting the ball past USC's Anna Smith only to have the goal called back for offside.

"We started the last couple of games slow and USC hit the post early but I thought after that we did really well," Sanchez said. "They have a lot of super dynamic attacking players and I thought we really dealt with it well for the most part. I thought after that we settled down."

The Buffs would break through in the 38th minute with Babcock-Chi springing Kuhlmann. The first-year Buffs took the USC defender one-on-one down the middle of the field and launched a left-footed blast to the short side of the net for her 11th goal of the season.

"What a world-class goal from Civana," Sanchez admired. "A great strike that kind of changed the momentum of the group over the last couple of games."

Grust really got called to action in the second half, making six saves in the final 45. None was bigger than her sliding stop on Simone Jackson inside the box in the 64th minute.

The Trojans were only able to put one past Grust off a misplayed header that left CU out of position, allowing for the easy put-in for Farmer in the 75th minute.

The Buffs almost got the goal back in the very next offensive possession when James hit a shot from distance that just floated over the top of the crossbar.

CU's only corner chance in the second half came in the final 20 seconds. Jenny Beyer served the ball and it trickled back to Amaya Gonzalez who put a desperation shot wide just before the final whistle.

Up Next
Colorado will head off on the road for its final road trip of the season next week. The Buffs will visit No. 25 California on Thursday and will take on No. 7 Stanford on Sunday.

Freshman Mallory Allen made her first career start…Hannah Sharts came off the bench for the first time in her 75 game-career at CU…Kuhlmann is now tied with James for the team lead in goals (11)…She continues to build on her career-high in points now at 28…her 28 points tie Taylor Kornieck (2018) and Danica Evans (2016) for the fourth most in a season at CU…the assist for Babcock-Chi was her third of the season, setting a new career-high…The Buffs are 0-0-2 against the No. 15 team in the country this season, also tying Washington State (1-1) when they held the same ranking.